Ketamine Treatment For PTSD
There are many treatments for PTSD available to you. They include:
- Trauma-focused therapies such as Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and others
- Antidepressants such as SSRIs and SNRIs
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
- Psychotherapy approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and others
- Complementary and Alternative Methods (CAMs) such as yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and other treatments.
Your physician or mental health specialist prescribes the best treatments to help you get back to a good daily quality of life.
Patients who may be appropriate for ketamine treatment for PTSD have tried some of these other treatments already. They haven’t worked well enough, aren’t working fast enough, or aren’t working at all. ketamine is another treatment available to you.
Benefits of Ketamine
Ketamine treatment for PTSD offers benefits many other treatments do not. For patients who respond well to treatment, the biggest benefit is how fast ketamine works. Studies with IV ketamine have shown that patients can have a rapid relief in symptoms. More studies are underway.
Overall, about 70% – 75% of patients who get IV ketamine treatment for anxiety experience positive results. Different studies report different success rates. Like any treatment for PTSD, not all patients will have positive results. It’s also important to know that ketamine isn’t a cure for PTSD, but rather an adjunct to improve your current therapy; it’s a better way to help you overcome your PTSD.
Protocol For Ketamine Treatment For PTSD
You must have documentation of their diagnosis of depression from a qualified mental health professional. The first step is to complete diagnostics for depression, anxiety, and psychosis before a medical screening exam. See our SPRAVATO® page for requirements to qualify. All test results are shared with the your providers.
The next step is to complete a medical exam with Dr. Manno. Dr. Manno will review your medical history and discuss what to expect during the treatment experience.
Induction Treatment Phase
The induction phase of treatment is different for IV ketamine compared to SPRAVATO®. Generally speaking, induction with IV ketamine is 2 treatments per week for 2 weeks. With SPRAVATO® it’s 2 treatments per week over 4 weeks. Dr. Manno will recommend an induction phase of treatment for you after completing the pre-treatment evaluation.
Booster Treatment Phase
You may need periodic treatments with ketamine to maintain the therapeutic effects after the induction phase is done. Frequency of maintenance treatments will depend upon your response and whether you are on IV ketamine or SPRAVATO®. Some patients ask for oral ketamine losenges to extend the time between booster treatments. Each patient is unique and the treatment regimen will be determined by Dr. Manno.
Post Induction Monitoring
After induction treatments have been completed, you’ll take the same diagnostic tests given before the Induction Phase. We do this to compare your responses to their baseline and measure the effectiveness of treatment. All results will be shared with your providers.
Research on Ketamine Treatment For PTSD
Research into Ketamine treatment for PTSDis ongoing. Here is a sample of studies published and available to the general public or through a PubMed subscription
Feder, Parides et al. “Efficacy of intravenous ketamine for treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized clinical trial.” JAMA Psychiatry. 2014 Jun;71(6):681-8.
Liriano, Hatten, et al. “Ketamine as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder: a review” Drugs in Context 2019; 8:212305. DOI: 10.7573/dic.212305